Quickstart Guide

NOTE: this guide is out of date and should not be relied upon as a good example of how to set up a new OBA server. Instead, we recommend using our official Docker image to launch an OBA server quickly and easily. You can find the code repository for our Docker image on GitHub and the latest built images on Docker Hub.

Also, to simplify testing your new server on our mobile apps we are adding support for custom URL schemes on our iOS and Android apps that will add your custom region to the app. Make sure the tasks are complete and that you’re using an up-to-date app version to ensure this feature works.

Example URL for a Davis, CA (Unitrans) server:


We have a quick-start distribution designed to get you quickly up and running with the OneBusAway application suite. This can be a good way to evaluate OneBusAway without getting bogged down in more complex deployment scenarios.

What is OneBusAway?

The OneBusAway application suite is a set of tools to help share real-time public transit information with riders across a variety of interfaces. It includes interfaces for the web, phone, sms, large sign displays, and a REST API that powers a number of mobile applications. For more information on these features, see the application suite documentation.


At a bare minimum, you’ll need Java installed on your system. You will also need the following:

Transit Data

You will need transit data to power your OneBusAway installation. At minimum, you’ll need GTFS static schedule data feed for your target transit agency. Optionally, but ideally, you will also need real-time data for your transit agency. OneBusAway supports real-time data for delays, service alerts, and vehicle positions in the GTFS-realtime format or the SIRI format.

Download a Quickstart Bundle

You need to download one of the quickstart bundles. Pick a bundle based on what features you are interested in:

  • The full webapp: onebusaway-quickstart-assembly-webapp.war - Includes the REST API and the web interfaces.
  • The API-only webapp: onebusaway-quickstart-assembly-api-webapp.war - Includes just the REST API.

Find links to both of these WAR files on our Downloads page.

Let’s Go!

Running OneBusAway is a two-step process:

  1. Build a transit data bundle: raw transit data is processed into an optimized bundle, geared for fast access.
  2. Run the OneBusAway webapp: actually start the OneBusAway web applications, using the transit data bundle.

You can perform these two steps either using our simple GUI configuration tool or from the command-line.

Using the GUI

We provide a simple wizard to help you configure and run the OneBusAway quick-start application. Simply double-click the downloaded quick-start war file. Follow the steps and you’ll be up and running in no time.

NOTE: You may need to run the OneBusAway quick-start GUI from the command-line if you want to pass additional options to java, like specifying more memory or server optimization:

java -Xmx1G -server -jar onebusaway-quickstart-assembly.war

Using the Command-Line

First, build your transit data bundle:

java -Xmx1G -server -jar onebusaway-quickstart-assembly.war -build path/to/gtfs.zip path/to/created-transit-bundle

Next, run the webapp:

java -Xmx1G -server -jar onebusaway-quickstart-assembly.war -webapp path/to/created-transit-bundle

Once the webapp has finished startup, browse to http://localhost:8080/.

To see more options for configuring the build and the webapp, including adding real-time information, specify the -help option to get full usage instructions:

java -jar onebusaway-quickstart-assembly.war -help